Even in an age where connectivity is at an all-time high, the urge to disconnect and separate from things that used to bring us happiness has also become more robust. Relationships can be challenging enough without the plethora of external factors to distract us.

While data shows that divorce rates have been dropping over the years, it also shows that younger couples are hesitant to fully commit to a long-term relationship.  One reason for this is that modern couples are challenged with even more internal and external factors than previous generations.

When it comes to marital stability and divorce predictions, not many relationship gurus establish themselves as the voice of authority the way Dr. John Mordecai Gottman has. A psychological clinician, professor, and researcher, Gottman introduced the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” concept when referring to the main predictors that a relationship is going south. Using these principles, alongside the revolutionary ideas of Belgian Psychotherapist Esther Perel about relationships, we amassed the five profound warning signs every couple should look out for since they all point to a critical solution: Couples’ Therapy.

Here are the five signs couple’s therapy may be the next step:

  • We attack our partner instead of the problem.

What happens is when you both encounter some inconvenience, you find ways to find fault in each other. Gottman classifies this under the first Horsemen of the Apocalypse, which is Criticism. While it may be easily disguised as a complaint, Criticism intends to make the other person feel inadequate, wrong, or incapable. Once this pattern starts to take root, you may find yourself exhibiting the next following signs.


  • We condemn our partner.

In the words of Mother Teresa, “if you judge others, you won’t have time to love them,” and this line especially rings true in this case. That said, contempt slowly creeps in after we’ve hurt our partner, and we’ve convinced ourselves that they deserve it. As a result, we start to mock, ridicule, and demeanor partner. To differentiate Criticism from contempt, Gottman explains the former as the act of attacking the person’s character, while the latter is the exertion of one’s superiority over their partner. That said, if you don’t nip this in the bud, you’re taking your relationship down a slippery slope.


  • We refuse to admit our mistakes.

When you’re a non-confrontational and passive type of person, chances are you won’t deal with any underlying problems head-on. In most cases, you may even come up with excuses, shift the blame, and refuse to put yourself in your partner’s shoes. While this approach isn’t as aggressive as the first two signs, the main reason why Defensiveness is considered a Horseman of the Apocalypse is that it negates the need to compromise.


  • We shut our partner out.

In connection to the recent sign, this act of complete unwillingness to communicate is what Gottman specifically coined as Stonewalling. As the name implies, this is when we put a figurative wall in between our partners and us, thus preventing them from ever getting to us and stopping us from having to face the problem at all. This demonstration of denial may put any conflict to a halt, but this is only the calm before the storm.


  • We become complacent.

When psychotherapist Esther Perel was asked in an interview with London Real about what we can do to make our relationships last longer, she poked hard at our inherent disregard for things we believe we already possess. That said, the last sign couples should look out for, but are most likely to miss, is how we perceive our partners as mere possessions. With this kind of mindset, we take our partners for granted because we know they’re still going to stick around. This prevents us from practicing appreciation and gratefulness for our partner’s efforts, which may quickly breed resentment on the other party.

Starting Couples Therapy

These signs start to manifest slowly, one at a time, but when the couple fails to tackle their issues, one sign can induce a domino effect. That said, it is only right that at least one side of the couple introduces the need for a couples therapy session, where they can freely share their perspectives within the safety net of a mediator.

So, when any combination of these five signs starts to manifest in your relationship, it is high time for you to reach out to a professional trained to help you recover your marriage. If you’re anywhere in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, we recommend that you contact us at My Winnipeg Therapist for a quick consultation. Our clinic offers Couples Therapy Services that are tailored to the needs of every couple we encounter. We assure you that every appointment is handled by our psychotherapists with complete dedication and confidentiality.

For more inquiries, contact our office and schedule your consultation time with us today.


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